Introduction

Notes is an android notebook for keeping notes or a journal about whatever you wish to write about.

Notes Help

Features

  • Notes saved in text files
  • Use markdown formatting
  • Optional note template
  • Optional template for new note name
  • Display media
  • Display OpenStreetMap maps
  • Print notes
  • Share notes
  • Add date and time
  • Add media from media providers
  • Receive media from other apps
  • Receive geo uris from other apps
  • Incremental search of notes
  • Dark or light theme for editing
  • Widget for new notes
  • Optional CSS styles
  • Optional JavaScript scripts
  • Back up notes to a zip file
  • Optional edit cursor position control

Using

Notes is based on elements from my Diary and Editor apps. The intended use is to use the default note, which is loaded automatically on startup, as an index page with links to your other notes. However you can use it any way you like.

Settings Settings

Toolbar

The toolbar items which won’t necessarily all appear at once:

  • New – Start a new note
  • Save – Save note
  • Open – Open an existing note
  • Search – incremental search of note

And on the menu:

  • Find all – Find all notes containing search text
  • Open recent – Pop up a list of recent files
    • Clear list – Clear list of recent files
  • Print – Print note
  • Share – Share note
  • Save as – Save note in another file
  • Add date – Add the current date and time
  • Add media – Add media from media providers
  • Edit styles – show an editor to edit the custom styles
  • Edit script – show an editor to edit custom javascript
  • Backup – backup notes to a zip file
  • Settings – Show the settings

Help

You may put a link [Help](file:///android_asset/help.md) to the help file in the app assets in a note. The file will be loaded and may be saved using the Save as menu entry.

Double tap

In the formatted view a double tap on the screen will switch to the edit view in approximately the same position in the markdown text. The accuracy is dependent on the text formatting and media in the note.

Editing

In the formatted view the Edit button floating above the page allows editing notes. The Accept button restores the formatted view. A long touch on the button hides it until the device is rotated or a long touch on the page.

See Markdown for markdown syntax.

Scrolling

Scrolling the page up will temporarily hide the floating button. Scrolling down restores it.

Find All

You may find all notes that contain the current search text. This menu item will only appear while the search widget is active. A dialog will pop up with a list of matching notes. Touch an entry to open that note. You may repeat this or refine the search text to find the desired note.

Name Template

You may use a template for new note names. If a template is set it will be used for the name of new notes. A date code – <<date>> may be inserted into the template which will be converted into the current date and time. This will default to yyyy/MM/dd-HHmmss, which will expand to 2022/02/20-113052, so <<date>>.md will give 2022/02/20-113052.md. This gives a hierarchical folder structure similar to my Diary app. Alternatively you may use your own date pattern for a custom name, as below in Template.

Keyboard Shortcuts

When using an external keyboard, some keyboard shortcuts are implemented:

  • Ctrl+A – Accept
  • Ctrl+E – Edit
  • Ctrl+N – New file
  • Ctrl+O – Open file
  • Ctrl+S – Save file
  • Ctrl+Shift+S – Save as

Content

Menu Find

Template

You may use a note template. If a template is set it will be copied to a new note. A date code – <<date>> may be inserted into the template which will be converted into the current date and time. Alternatively a date pattern may be added to the code – <<date EEEE d MMMM yyyy HH:mm>> for a custom date format. See here for the pattern documentation.

Text

You may receive text clips from another app. The text will be added at the current cursor position, or in a new note if no note is open.

Media

You may store media in the note storage folder and reference them in notes, so markdown text ![cat](cat.jpg) will display cat.jpg stored in the note folder. You may either add media from media providers like file managers or image managers or receive media sent by other apps. Media added will be added at the current cursor position. Media sent by other apps will be added at the current cursor position, or in a new note if no note is open. Content URIs (content://) sent by some media providers and apps will be resolved to file URIs (file:///) if possible. Media will be added using markdown image syntax (![<name>](<url>)), which will be parsed into an HTML5 media player, text clips will be added as above, URLs will be added as a link. Media added from removable SD cards not part of the device storage may work but may not be persistent and is not supported.

Markdown

Notes supports several markdown extensions including autolink, tables using vertical bar characters, heading anchor, underlining using ++underline++, strikethrough using ~~strike~~, YAML front matter, task lists using - [x] task #1, - [ ] task #2, superscript using ^super^, subscript using ~sub~.

Task Lists

To change the state of check boxes in a task list, switch to the edit view and tap on the box [ ]. The box will change state and the edit cursor will be where you tapped.

Latex

Notes doesn’t support LaTeX, but it is possible to use an external site to add LaTeX formatted images.

![Math](http://www.sciweavers.org/tex2img.php?eq=\sum_{i=1}^{n}x_{i}^{2}
    &bc=cornsilk&fc=black&im=jpg&fs=24&ff=arev)

\sum_{i=1}^{n}x_{i}^{2}

\( \sum_{i=1}^{n}x_{i}^{2} \)

If you don’t intend to change the image, you can copy it and use that instead, which will then work offline.

Svgbob

Notes doesn’t support text diagrams, but will display SVG images produced by an online editor Svgbob Editor.

Svgbob

Maps

You may put OpenStreetMap maps in notes with a geo URI ![osm](geo:<lat>,<lng>). Geo uris received from other apps will be added at the current cursor position, or in a new note if no note is open.

Cursor Position

You may put a line in a note to control or remember the edit cursor position. This will not appear in the markdown view. Put [<]: # on a line for the start of an note, [>]: # for the end of a note. Put [#]: # for the cursor position to be remembered. There should be no other text on the line. The current cursor position will be added when the note is saved [#]: # (nnn). Because notes are only saved if they are changed, moving the cursor with no other change will not move the saved position.

Styles

You may add custom styles to the markdown formatting by placing a styles.css file in the Notes/css folder, which will replace the built in styles file which simply limits the width of images to the page width. Use the built in editor to create a styles file. You must use the editor accept tick button to save the edits.

Caution – There is no such thing as a markdown syntax error, but syntax errors in a styles file may cause unpredictable results and affect all notes. See CSS Tutorial.

You may include the built in styles file with an @import statement @import "file:///android_asset/styles.css"; or @import url("file:///android_asset/styles.css");, which should be on the first line.

Scripts

You may add custom javascript to be loaded into all notes by placing a script.js file in the Notes/js folder. Use the built in editor to create a script file. You must use the editor accept tick button to save the edits. Errors in the script will be logged by the WebView which displays the page. See Javascript tutorial.

If you want to use javascript libraries or write a large script it might be a good idea to use the Google Closure Compiler to check and minimise your code. It will handle multiple input files.

Manage

Backup

You may create a backup of all your notes in a zip file. The file will have the same name as the notes folder, default Notes.zip.

Sync

Android cloud storage apps when last tested appeared not to be capable of syncing a real storage folder on the device. However Syncthing does just that and can sync your notes folder with other devices and desktop computers.

SD Cards

Android allows removable SD cards to be used like a USB stick or as part of the device storage. Notes opened using the chooser on a removable SD card may not save successfully using the save button. Use the Save as menu item and the Storage button to save it using the android file manager. Alternatively use the Storage button on the chooser dialog to open the Note using the android file manager. The file manager may refuse to open some types of text files not recognised by android.

Settings

Settings

Settings

  • Folder – Change notes storage folder. Caution – notes, styles and scripts will not be moved
  • Default note name – Set a name for the default note. Use the dialog to choose a name.
  • New note name template – Set a new note name template. Use the dialog to choose a name.
  • New note template – Set a note template. Use the dialog to choose a file.
  • Browser – Use browser for external links
  • Dark theme – Use dark theme for editing
  • About – Show app version, licence and credits